The Magaliesberg has enjoyed a protected status since 1977 which has prevented the range being spoiled by visually intrusive or inappropriate development. And so it was until 2008 when the view towards the west was marred by the erection of Kgaswane Country Lodge, inside the protected area.
Boophane disticha : Photo courtesy of Kevin Gilll
The Magaliesberg people are enduring, courageous and often they are pioneers. In a regular series about the Mense of the Magaliesberg, we introduce the stalwarts of the region.
Kevin Gill is a long-standing member of the Magaliesberg Protection Association, volunteers on the Magaliesberg Biosphere Committee, and is a representative on the Steering Committee of the Biosphere. His connection to the Magaliesberg and his interest in the natural environment prompted him to write a fascinating book which is due out soon.
The Residents of Kalkheuwel North, inside the Cradle of Humankind, have spotted an aardwolf visiting in the night - a rare sight . They share this picture of their night visitor.
Aardwolf. Photo courtesy of Kalkheuwel West Residents Association
John Wesson is the Regional Manager Conservation for the Wildlife & Environment Society of SA (WESSA) and in this role he has initiated a project to combat invasive alien species.
John says “WESSA has a project to target Queen of the Night with biological controls, growing and spreading the bug that kills it. This plant is found throughout the Magaliesberg and in some areas it has already formed dense thickets.”
It is time for “Winter Sports” in the country areas. Time to put on goggles, safety boots and dust off the fire beaters.
Planned fire regimes, controlled burning and fire breaks are important at this time of the year. Fires are destructive to property, and landowners may be prosecuted for negligence if they have not complied with the Fire Act.
In these times of mass production, it is rewarding to find people who still take the time to design, craft and inspire. The Magaliesberg Biosphere is brimming with such talent and innovation.
“Choux Pastry Platters” and the “Bushveld Cuisine” are both quirky and fun. Here is a team that manages to take the stress out of functions.
On an early morning walk through the veld we came across an impressive spider web, a couple of metres across with a large ball in the centre. The web had three gossamer “curtains” hanging from much thicker anchor threads, tied firmly to branches and grasses. We sent a pic to Astri Leroy of the Spider Club of SA with a “What's this, Astri!?” message.
Progress by Contour Project Management towards the listing of the Biosphere is proceeding well. The nomination should be submitted to UNESCO by September 2012.
Our non-profit company, Magaliesberg Biosphere NPC, has now been registered together with our Biosphere logo. The company is intended to be the management organisation for the Biosphere. Once the Biosphere is registered, it will be necessary to appoint a Board with sixteen members representing each of the following stakeholder groups. If anyone thinks they might want to represent one of the groups, please send your name, contact details and short biography to us for collation. Keep watching this website for developments.
People sometimes forget that all organisations they create become living organisms themselves. The rules for their existence and wellbeing are similar to those for all animal and plant species.
Each living thing, each team or committee has a rhythm of good and less good times, like the seasons, or day and night.
They can be challenged to achieve at the appropriate time; other times you will only make them uneasy by asking them a favour.
They are sensitive; approachable when they feel nurtured, retiring when they feel threatened.
Institutions and associations are scared of dying and sometimes hold on to familiar ways for too long, simply because they feel safer that way. They stay useful as long as they are subservient and have some meaning somewhere in the ecological food chain. This enables them to form survival alliances. If they don't contribute anything, they fall into decay.